Katherine Gaulke

Candidate For Assembly District 32

Katherine Gaulke

Candidate Background


4979 Hickory Ct., Elkhorn, WI 53121

Phone Number: 
(262) 949-2971
Email Address: 

Candidate Biography

From candidate website

Katherine decided to run for state Assembly District 32 because she is a frustrated constituent. She believes a state representative should be active in the community they represent and be readily available to their constituents. She believes a state representative should be actively authoring and sponsoring bills that help her district residents live a better life.

When elected, Katherine will be here for you. She will answer your emails. She will visit you in District 32. She will be listening to you and advocating to solve your problems. 

Katherine volunteered with Open Arms Free Clinic (OAFC) when it first opened. OAFC is the only free clinic in Walworth County, for those of you in Racine County -- the free clinic is HealthCare Network, and in Kenosha County -- the AIDS Resource Center. Katherine's service at OAFC, fostered a love of safety net clinics in her servant heart, and she founded the Wisconsin Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (WAFCC) in Nov. 2014. Since its formation, WAFCC has become a state and national leader in free and charitable clinics / safety net quality improvement and standards movement. Katherine speaks throughout the state and nation on healthcare gaps. She advocates for health equity. Katherine left her position as WAFCC executive director and is focusing full-time on hearing your stories and running for District 32 Assembly.

Began Free & Charitable Clinic Week

Working with the WAFCC Government Relations Committee, Katherine volunteered her time to advocate to increase awareness about free and charitable clinics​. In April 2016, Katherine launched Wisconsin's 1st Free & Charitable Clinic Week. Then, in April 2017 during the 2nd Free & Charitable Clinic Week, Katherine organized a Free & Charitable Clinic Advocacy Day. During the 2017 Advocacy Day, safety net clinic directors, patients, and volunteer providers met with over 40 legislators and their staff asking for the first week of April every year to be Wisconsin's Free & Charitable Week. On February 20, 2018 - AJR52, a joint resolution, made the first week of April officially Wisconsin's Free & Charitable Clinic week! Katherine and safety net Advocates went to the Capitol and received joint resolution plaques from state Rep. David Crowley and were present when the joint resolution was read on the Assembly floor.  

Health Provider Loan Assistance Program (HPLAP) Expansion

Continuing her volunteer advocacy work Katherine worked with Rep. Joel Kleefisch, Rep. Daniel Riemer, legislative council, and the Office of Rural Health (HPLAP administer) to work on legislation to expand the HPLAP program the the free and charitable clinic entity. Katherine testified to the Committee on Colleges and Universities about how AB598. This bill passed the Assembly with a voice vote; unfortunately the Senate didn't have time to take up the bill before recess. This experience demonstrates Katherine's understanding and knowledge of how bills are made and passed.

#TheNeedContinues Documentary and Handout

 In 2015, Katherine worked with Lindsay Hammons to create #TheNeedContinues a documentary on the continued need for free and charitable clinics post-ACA ("Obamacare"). Katherine also developed #TheNeedContinues Handout for safety net clinics to explain that the ACA is not and was never intended to be universal coverage. 

Safety Net Summits

In 2014, Katherine organized for 36 free and charitable clinics to meet in Delavan to discuss issues related to free and charitable clinics. This informal meeting, has now transformed into two annual summits with over 90 safety net stakeholders attending the Nov. 2017 Safety Net Summit; and was the foundation for Katherine founding the Wisconsin Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (WAFCC).

Walworth County Health Insurance Awareness and Assistance

Staring in 2010, Katherine was concerned when the Affordable Care Act (ACA/"Obamacare") was passed with limited resources to educate the public. She then formed the Walworth County Affordable Care Act Awareness committee. She organized health fairs, library events, and presentations throughout the community. She also worked with Badger High School and local pre-screened insurance agents/volunteers to offer local insurance enrollment assistance every Thursday during open enrollment. This assistance continues during health insurance open enrollment today.